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"Built Dam Strong!"

13 September 2014

Installing a pre-bent roll cage into Steve's CRX, Part 1.

My friend Steve has a silly CRX. What makes it silly? Well, just look and see for yourself:

You might say it makes a little power. It is fairly fast, too, so much so that he needs a roll bar if he wants to run the car at a legitimate drag strip. So, he bought a pre-bent cage and since he didn't want to use flux core for this, I brought over my welding setup and got to work, and it will be quite a lot of work.

Here we are getting set up:
As always, cleaning is the most important part of any welding prep:
 Getting into that corner to clean was a pain. I used a combination of a wire cup and a knotted wire brush. Be sure that you move any wires or lines out of the way.

I notched the baseplate to get a better fitup in the corner:

 Because the floor is curved in odd ways I used a hammer to bash the floor flatter and also curve the plate to match the profile better.

The weld marks in the middle of the plate are from where I tacked a piece of flat bar on to get a better ground:
 I managed to get some really good welds:
 And some not so pretty but perfectly good welds:

I will be making some filler plates to fit in the divots under the plate to the floor, as there is a variable gap of 1/8" to about 1/2". This is more than good enough to get started, though. 

This is a weld on the other side:
 That will get the same filler plate treatment.

Here we come to the not so fun part of lining up the main hoop:
 I asked for a tape measure and Steve gave me this:
 I thought he was mocking me, as it is maybe 1.5" big. Great measuring tools . . .

He DID have a couple of decent carpenter's squares. I used them to mark 1' and 2' up from the end of the hoops thusly:
 This gives a relatively fixed position on both legs to measure from, which, theoretically, makes things easier.

I am fairly confused on one thing, though. I don't get how these tubes are supposed to fit in the car or why they are coped the way they are:

 Me working, obviously:

 Bird's eye view, including me READING THE DARN INSTRUCTIONS:
 Where we left off for the day:

With darkness approaching, we cleaned up and I headed out. I am due back to his house on Tuesday, though I might be able to make it Monday after work, too.

And that's the start of it! Look forward to further installments as we get this thing done.